SEMI TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER ATLANTA GA

Any semi truck accident lawyer Atlanta GA can trust may tell you that trucking accidents are different. A commercial truck weighs upwards of 10,000 pounds, which means extensive vehicle damage and serious bodily injuries are more likely. In addition to the truck driver, the trucking company or truck manufacturer may bear some of the blame for the accident. The attorneys at Butler Tobin know how to conduct a thorough investigation, secure expert witnesses, depose the right people, and prevent trucking companies from destroying valuable evidence. We know because we’ve done it.

TRUCK ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION

If you’ve been hit by a truck, the first thing the truck driver is trained to do is call his company.  The company is then going to call their team of defense lawyers who will immediately start building a defense.  That is why it is so important you consult with a reputable lawyer as soon as possible.  When we get hired we want to look for as much evidence as we can.  Depending on when the semi truck accident lawyer Atlanta GA trusts at Butler Tobin is hired, we often begin by sending a spoliation letter to the trucking company and the trucking company’s registered agent.

PRESERVATION OF EVIDENCE

Trucking companies often remove parts from damaged trucks and use those parts in other vehicles.  Removing the electronic control module after an accident can erase valuable crash data, which is why we need to warn the trucking company not to destroy evidence. The semi truck accident lawyer Atlanta GA relies upon at Butler Tobin may want to make sure that the truck that caused the crash stays undisturbed.  Preserving evidence in the early stage is crucial.  We write to the truck companies and demand that they preserve all evidence.  We call this a “spoliation letter,” and we send it as quickly as we possibly can.  A spoliation letter notifies the trucking company of its obligation to preserve accident-related evidence.  If a trucking company ignores this letter, we may be able to prove that they destroyed evidence intentionally, which can help strengthen your case.

We may retain an accident reconstruction expert to determine how the wreck occurred.  A reconstructionist’s investigation often starts with visiting the scene of the wreck to examine skid marks, look for debris, and take measurements with electronic surveying equipment.  It’s all part of building the case.

Reconstructionists often inspect the vehicles involved in the accident, including the truck.  It may take hours to inspect the truck’s brakes, suspension, steering, lights, carriage, GPS system, and tires.

semi truck accident lawyer Atlanta GA

DRIVER QUALIFICATION FILES

Trucking companies rarely release maintenance records, driver logs, and other documents to accident victims, but the semi truck accident lawyer Atlanta GA drivers turn to may know how to make them give us the evidence.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) requires trucking companies to maintain a driver qualification file (DQF) for every driver.  The DQF includes employment applications, driving records, road test results, vehicle maintenance records, hours-of-service logs, training certificates, and drug test results.  The information in the DQF is essential to building a case against the driver or the trucking company.

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TRUCK DRIVER QUALIFICATIONS

Truck drivers must meet certain qualifications before they are allowed to operate commercial vehicles.  For example, a driver must be at least 21 years old, have a valid commercial driver’s license, possess a valid Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificate, and be able to read and speak English.  If the driver involved in your accident does not meet all of these requirements, the trucking company that hired him may be responsible.

Once we get the DQF from the trucking company, our attorneys review all of the documents to determine if the driver was qualified to be on the road.

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INFORMATION FROM DATA RECORDERS

Like airplanes, many trucks are equipped with data recorders.  These recorders are an important source of information in a trucking accident case.  A truck’s electronic control module typically records average speed, time spent in gear, and other data related to vehicle operation.  Control modules also record data during a crash, which is valuable when trying to determine if a driver is at fault for an accident.  For example, the electronic control module can confirm whether a driver was speeding in the seconds before the crash.  Our team of experts know how to download and analyze this data.

INTERVIEWS AND DEPOSITIONS

Over time, memories fade, making it difficult to determine what really happened at the scene of a crash.  That’s why the semi truck accident lawyer Atlanta GA motorists rely upon may interview accident witnesses and first responders as soon as possible.  We will meet witnesses wherever we can find them.  Witnesses may have noticed the truck driver driving aggressively, running a red light, or changing lanes without using a turn signal just before the accident occurred.  We find out as much as we can about the case so that we can win.

We also take depositions from the witnesses involved in your case.  During a deposition, the witness testifies under oath about what happened before, during, and after the crash.  Our attorneys have extensive experience taking depositions and getting the information needed to build a strong case.

When you are involved in a trucking accident, time is of the essence.  Almost as soon as a crash occurs, the trucking company has investigators on the scene looking for ways to blame the accident on someone else.  Not only do we review accident reports, interview witnesses, and take depositions, we also front all of the costs of the case.  Independent investigators may cost as much as $15,000, but we cover these costs.  We pay for everything.  We only get paid back if and when we win the case.  This allows you to focus on your medical recovery while we fight on your behalf.

Trucking accidents need trucking attorneys.  Call us and learn more about what we can do to help.

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